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Gingerbread Cookies


These traditional spice cookies are just right for the holidays.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 36

Source: Everyday Food, December 2004


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • Decorating sugar or sprinkles (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in molasses and egg. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients; mix just until a dough forms. Place dough on floured plastic wrap; pat into an 8-inch square. Wrap well; chill until firm, 1 to 2 hours.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough in half. Working with one half at a time (rewrap and refrigerate other half), place dough on floured parchment or waxed paper; roll out 1/8 inch thick, turning, lifting, and flouring dough (and rolling pin) as needed. Freeze dough (on paper) until firm, about 20 minutes.

  3. Loosen dough from paper. Cut out shapes, and transfer to baking sheets. Decorate with sugar or sprinkles, as desired.

  4. Bake until firm and edges just begin to darken, 10 to 18 minutes, depending on size. Cool completely on baking sheets.

Cook's Notes

This recipe makes 3 dozen medium cookies. We used star cookie cutters for the shapes. For the neatest edges, dip cutters in flour before cutting out each cookie.

Reviews Add a comment

  • kilimanjaro2273
    20 NOV, 2016
    Sorry Martha. I made this, following the recipe to the letter and the cookies are tasteless. The saving grace was that I decorated them with icing and sprinkles, so that at least gave them some sweetness. On their own these cookies wouldn't pass as 'gingerbread'. If you're making this, bump up the spices, maybe that will help.... actually, finding a different recipe would help more.
  • Ellen2014
    23 NOV, 2014
    I have made this recipe twice now and love it. The cookies stay soft for days after baking. I did however add a buttercream frosting on mine! Great Christmas cookie for a change from all the sugar cookies around at Christmas.
  • Kate O Brien
    23 APR, 2014
    The point of a traditional gingerbread recipe is that the actual cookie isn't meant to be especially sweet. That's why it's called gingerbread, not gingercookie. The sweetness of the icing will give you that sugary kick. If you add too much sugar to the gingerbread mixture and then add icing, you're double-handling and they'll be quite sickly.
  • Kurayne
    16 DEC, 2013
    I thought that it was easy to make. The dough was the perfect texture, it was easy to roll out and didn't stick to floured parchment paper or a floured rolling pin. The only drawback is the taste. I found that it did indeed need more sugar, and it tastes kind of bitter-ish. Not my favourite recipe on this site.
  • pepperspickled
    7 DEC, 2013
    I made this recipe this evening. It isn't bland at all! The dough is really easy to work with on a wax paper and floured surface. The cookies came out perfect! They don't taste like store-bought cookies, but that's the point, they shouldn't taste store-bought. So good!
  • kickboxer
    17 DEC, 2012
    I made this dough last week, put it in the freezer and did a test run today. Quite the disaster. Gingerbread can sometimes be a real pain, but this one tops the list. Extremely sticky, no matter how much flour, no matter parchment paper or cold granite surface.
  • lakrueger
    21 DEC, 2011
    Was hoping for a good gingerbread cookie recipe - don't think this is it :( My family thought they were very bland. They definately need to be sweeter! Also the dough was extremely sticky.
  • lhiggins88
    19 DEC, 2011
    This is a great basic gingerbread cookie recipe. I made them for a cookie swap and was very pleased with the results. I have a tiny freezer, so I chilled the shapes in the fridge for 10-20 minutes before baking, and they kept their form very well, with little spreading. I'll definitely keep this one on hand for the future.
  • MelindaBenevides
    26 NOV, 2011
    This recipe turned out extremely well. Everyone was raving about the cookies. I found they had the perfect combination of moistness and crunch to them and the flavour was absolutely perfect. Not too heavy on the sweetness nor on the spice. Can't wait to make more for the holidays!
  • MagdaHC
    25 OCT, 2011
    Just wondering, can I keep this recipe in the freezer? and if yes for how long? thanks!